Defining "high-3"


Q: My “high-3” years are not my last three years. I am thinking of retiring in June, and I have read that your last three consecutive years are your high-3 years. My highest three years, salary-wise, were 2003 to 2005. Will they use those years or my last three?

A: An employee’s high-3 is always the highest three consecutive years of average salary, no matter when they occur in a career.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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